How Congress Can Help Small Business Employees Save for Retirement | U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Feb 21, 2017 - 6:00pm

How Congress Can Help Small Business Employees Save for Retirement

It seems every few weeks there’s a story warning that Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement. Here’s one from Marketwatch:

The numbers for retirement savings already looked discouraging with the average American couple only having put away $5,000, but the situation may be worse: only a third of working Americans are saving money in an employer-sponsored or tax-deferred retirement account, according to U.S. Census Bureau researchers, as reported in Bloomberg. And that’s only if their employers even offer such plans, which, according to this research, only 14% do (and they’re likely large companies).

“Our nation’s demographics continue to change and we need to make sure our retirement savings policies adequately address the needs of our evolving workforce,” said Randy Johnson, U.S. Chamber senior vice president for Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits.

The U.S. Chamber has a legislative roadmap to help Congress make it easier for businesses—especially small businesses—to help workers achieve better retirement security.

“We must increase opportunities to save for retirement, and one necessary first step in achieving this goal is simplifying the system for small businesses,” said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness.

The legislative roadmap includes:

  • Expanding Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) to give workers more motivation to work harder and more efficiently.
  • Increasing tax credits to small businesses to encourage them to set up 401(k) plans.
  • Making it easier for small businesses to join together in offering retirement savings options to employees through Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs).
  • Adding small businesses representatives to the advisory councils of federal agencies that with jurisdiction over retirement plans.
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